Tag Archive | Life Lessons

Love & Logic for Being On Time

Last week my oldest daughter woke up and was running super slow all morning. At 8:38 I was on the phone and noticed she was still sitting on the couch. I asked her if she was watching the clock and she said she was. I reminded her that she needs to leave between 8:35-40 and she might want to get her shoes, coat, and bag on if she was going to make it to school on time. She told me she didnt want to go. I told her I was busy that day and if she wanted to stay home she would need to pay a baby sitter to watch her and she would have to stay in her room all day. She agreed and ran down stairs to find her money she earned from the previous week.

She came up bummed, “Mom I dont have enough” (she spent it already)

Me, “Oh thats a bummer honey dont worry there will be more on Friday. In the mean time would you like to wear your boots or shoes to school?”

B, “I dont want to go”

Me, “I understand honey. Would you rather wear boots or shoes to school?”

B, “Neither”

At this time I realized I needed to focus my sole attention on her and this situation in order to not get mad or frustrated, in order to stay calm, so I told the person I was chatting with I needed to go but would call them back in a bit.

Me, “Bailie honey your late for school now so may want to go quickly so you don’t get in trouble. Would you like to wear boots or shoes to school?”

B, “Neither”

Me, “I understand honey would you rather wear boots or shoes to school?”

B, “Neither”

Me, “I understand honey would you rather wear boots or shoes to school?”

B, “Ugggg you choose!”

Me, “I am wearing shoes today. Would you rather wear boots or shoes to school?”

B, “I want YOU to choose!”

Me, “I cant choose your shoes for you. Would you rather wear boots or shoes to school?”

B, “uuuug fine shoes”

At this point its 8:52 and school has started 2 minutes prior. As she walks out the door I say, “Bye honey I love you and I hope you have a great day” and she replies, “You too mom” in a not so cheerful voice.

So immediately I call the school. I ask the lady on the phone what happens when kids are late for school. She says, “well they get a tardy slip… so nothing really” I asked if there was any other repercussions for the children. Shes said, “Well after so many the parents get a letter home …” then after a moment of pause I could hear the realization in her voice as she says, “Its more like the parents get in trouble than the kids” with a faint giggle following. So I tell her thats ok I can understand that but that Bailie was on her way to school now and she left late on purpose and I want her to understand the importance of being on time. That it is HER responsibility to get out the door on time and to get to school on time because when she is older it will be her responsibility to get places on time, that she wont always have a parent to shuffle her out the door. I want her to understand now rather than later, that there are consequences to being late.

The lady at the school then said, “Well we did have a girl a while back who was late a lot so she stayed in the principles office during recess each time” I said that would be perfect! (Can I just say how happy I am that they were willing to work with me on this one! Its far better she learns by loosing recess now than her job later on it life).

So the next day she was out the door right on time! I was please but it wasn’t until today that I realized the lesson was learned. That the consequences taught her far better than my nagging could have! She was upset with me for not allowing her to use the stairwell because she left the gate open at the top (that’s a whole other story and Ill spare you there for now) so I let her know that she would need to go around the house if she wanted to get her things for school. Now we went through this gate scenario a couple weeks ago and it took her an hour and a half before she would walk around the house to get upstairs. I was fully prepared for that again, but this time with in 2 minutes she was going out the back door and coming around to the front. She very nicely grabbed her things and hugged her sister and said good bye for the day. I started to ask her something and she says, “Mom I have to go quickly its 8:40! I cant be late I don’t want to go to the office like yesterday” I said, “What do you mean you left early yesterday why did you have to go to the office?” For which she confessed, “Ya but I was being a slow poke. I was late and had to miss my recesses so today I am going to run!”

I didn’t have to beg and plea for her to get out the door and to school on time. I didnt have to yell and fuss to teach her the importance of not being tardy. The school stuck to the repercussions they agreed to give her when she’s late and the consequences taught the lesson for me!


Consequences Vs Punishment


I have been off Facebook this week and that has lead to two things. One I feel cut off from the world through 75% of my day. With my husband gone and having just had a new baby to balance with a toddler and older child I sometimes only leave the house twice a week; for Girl Scouts and Moms Group Tuesday evenings and to go to church on Sat or Sun. So online right now is my main connection to the world. Two I find I have more time, in my spare time, to do something I love; read! When the week is over and I go back to Facebook, I will have to make more time in my spare time to read and still virtually interact with people.

So what have I been reading this week? A book on having Large Families. Many large families have children close in age so I am learning a lot of great tips and tricks to make my day go so much smoother. The other thing Im reading, I posted about last week too, Parenting with Love and Logic. This book is literally changing our worlds! This chapter I am in right now has opened my eyes to so much. Its about the difference between punishments and consequences and how to handle them with empathy.

The author is talking about bed time. How he tried for years to teach his children about how important sleep was and that he would yell and shout to get them to go to bed and when they wouldn’t he would punish them with a spanking or taking away tv privileges or out of their sport events, etc. Then he said someone shared with him something so important. “You cant make a child go to sleep” He said he went upstairs and told his children he was sorry for meddling in their lives and that he was going to give them two rules for bedtime and leave it at that. 1. He and his wife did not want to see or hear from them after 8pm. They were more than welcome to be awake and in their rooms but they could not bother their parents. 2. Everyone in the house got up at 6.  (I already use this with Bailie because this was how my dad used to do it with me. After a certain age he stopped forcing bedtime but would make me get up no later than 7 on any given day. I was not allowed to sleep in or take naps. I learned the importance of sleep.) So he goes on to say that night his kids stayed up with their light on literally all night. When he got them up the next day they were tired and wanted to go back to bed and skip school, even claimed they were sick. He lovingly and empathetically said, “Well sure kids, that’s what happens to me too when I stay up too late. I bet it’s going to be a long day at school. Well, try to have as good of a day as you possibly can, under the circumstances. We’ll see you when you get home. Have a nice day.” and sent them on their way. When they got home they were dead tired and hardly made it through dinner when one of his children declared, “I think I’ll go to bed early” It took his child ONE NIGHT to learn a lesson he had been trying to teach them all for YEARS! 

Now like I said I already do this with bed time, but not because I was all insightful, but simply because thats how it was done with me. So I am pondering where else in her life I do this? Where do I possibly take away her chance to learn from the consequences (like being exhausted all day) by implementing punishments (like spanking or taking away a privilege)? Afterall, as an adult, noone takes away my computer or tv when I make mistakes or wont go to bed.  (More to come later after I ponder this further)


Feel free to check out my first post Who Owns THIS Problem

Homeschooling: Life Lessons

Currently Im in search of ideas to add to a new section of schooling we’re gonna implement this year. Please comment on the blog itself if you have any thoughts. What Id like to add is an “Important Life Lessons” section that can be “done” outside of the classroom.

So far I know that we will daily do a 15 Team Work chore time, where we’ll pick one chore a day to work on. My goal here is to teach Miss Bailie that although there are sometimes chores we dont want to do, if we work together they get done faster and are more enjoyable.

Id also like to add sections weekly. Currently my weekly ideas only go as far as a “Taking Care of God’s Earth” where the whole week each day we’ll go somewhere and clean something up: trash on a street, writing on the park, etc. Another week we can focus on “Helping Others” where maybe we’ll go help a neighbor, or a friend, each day that week work on a project. A Third week we can focus on “Those Less Fortunate Than Us” where each day we can do something different like maybe going to a homeless shelter, soup kitchen, maybe just helping out with the Helping Hands or Esther’s Closet, etc.

So Ive got 3 weeks worth of “DO” Life Lesson ideas but I need probably 20 + more week ideas. Any thoughts?

Lessons NOT Learned in Stealing and Speaking up

Bailie and I went to Wal-Mart this morning to get a few things and on our way out there was a lady with her two children (a boy about 9-11 and a girl about 6-7) and shes scanning over her seat and said something and then I hear the boy say, “Oh wow then you stole it.” and then he proceeded to say a little louder, “My mom stole …. (I didnt hear what it was)” and mid-way she says, “Hey shhhhhh stop” and then he laughs a little and says it again but louder and I hear her yell at him, “I SAID STOP IT” as they were walking towards they’re car.

I instantly in my head though wow way to go Mom you not only just knowingly stole something that the cashier managed not to ring up, but you missed out on a good opportunity to show your children how to do whats right. Instead you’ve taught them that even if it was an accident if you’ve made it out the doors then its yours.

I get in my car still fuming about this woman and what Id just seen and then it clicked. I too just missed a great opportunity to teach MY child whats right, by essentially ignoring what was going on and NOT speaking up. I could have shown her that although it can be hard to speak up sometimes and its always easier not to, the right thing to do would have been to speak up and not just “let” that happen. At this point it was too late the lady was gone, and both her children and mine had missed out on what could have been VERY important life lessons on morals, doing whats right, how to properly handle situations, etc. As parents who coulda done better we both failed. (The picture above really has nothing to do with the situation other than to show it was a Homer moment)

Imperfection is still Perfection

In nature, nothing is perfect and everything is perfect. Trees can be contorted, bent in weird ways, and they’re still beautiful.” Alice Walker

So today I came across this quote and it just spoke volumes to me. In so SO many ways. Thinking of all the things in life that I am; a wife, a mother, a coach, a teacher, a family member, a pet owner, a friend, and a child of God. In all of these things there are moments I wish I could do better, moments I strive to do as good as another, moments I feel like a failuer, moments I just want to be perfect.

As a wife I want to be the woman who has the perfect house, who has meals ready for her husband when he gets home, who is perfectly organized, who makes sure that she puts on a dress, make up, and does her hair everyday to look perfect for my husband when he gets home and for our guests when they come over. (I wanna be Lucy, Mrs Cleaver, or shoot Kitty from that 70’s show!) But Im not.

As a mom I want to be the best romodel ever! I want to have that perfect house for my kids, I want to be able to have those children without any problems or trying, I want to have the perfect pregnancy where nothing goes wrong and I never complain, I want to have children who are perfectly well behaved, I wanna never lose my temper, and always know exactly what to do, I want to be able to allow my children to do whatever sports and events they could possibly want, and I want to be able to volunteer for all of them! (I wanna be Mrs Bradey or The mom from Bewitched) But Im not.

I wanna be that friend that anyone and everyone can count on. One who never fails or falls through. The one you can cry on, I wanna be able to lend you money when ever you need, I wanna be able to give you a ride wherever you need to go, I wanna be able to spend plenty of time with each friend and never let anyone feel left behind or neglected. I wanna never say the wrong thing, accidentally put someone down, I wanna never need anything from anyone else, but always be able to provide for them. But Im not always that either.

Most importantly I wanna be that perfect child of God. I want to always be able to rely on the Lord and never let my own thoughts and ideas get ahead of me. I wanna remember to always trust God, to be that person who others always see God in. One who never fears and never sins, never thinks a bad thought, or condemns outta place, who never judges. (I wanna be like Jesus) But often Im not.

All those things I want to be but often am not can be so overwhelming. It can really make me feel like a failure in life. But then God reminds me here and there that He has made me and that nothing He’s made is done wrong. That like the quite above everything in the world that is imperfect is still perfect. I am exactly who God has made me to be. I am who I am supposed to be right now. That He will mold me and prepare to make me the person he wants me to be tomorrow, next week, next month, next year, 5 years from now, 10 years from now, all the way until I reach Heaven.